charlie's flybox

Birds Nest


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step: 1
Pattern Description
The Birds Nest comes from California originally but has been adapted in size to accomodate many Colorado insect hatches. I first fished the Birds Nest in Cheesman Canyon years ago...tied down to a size twenty or so and the pattern was a killer. Since then, I have used this simple fly to match insects ranging from Green Drakes all the way to Callibaetis. This is, like so many others, a pretty simple little fly with a couple little tricks to make the tying go smoother. Read on, tie some up and try to keep the Birds Nests on the FAR end of your line.
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 3761 #10-20>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Thread: Tan 8/0>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Tail: Mallard Flank Dyed Wood Duck Gold>>>>>>>>> Rib: Fine Copper Wire>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Abdomen: Superfine Dubbing, Callibaetis color in this case, but match the dubbing to whatever insect you wish...for that matter, you could use nearly any type of dubbing you like as well>>>>>> Wing/Collar: Mallard flank Dyed Wood Duck Gold>>>>>> Thorax: Dubbing to match abdomen
step: 2
Start the thread at the seventy five percent point and wrap a thread base back to the bend of the hook. Peel a clump of mallard flank fibers from the stem after first pulling them out at a right angle to the stem to even their tips, and measure this clump against the hook so it is about one shank length long. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Wrap forward over the butt ends of the mallard up to the 75% point and clip the excess fibers flush. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Tie in a six inch length of fine copper wire at the seventy-five percent point and wrap back over it to the base of the tail. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Dub a tapered abdomen from the bend up to the 75% point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Spiral wrap the wire forward over the abdomen and tie it off at the front. Clip the excess wire. Make a thread base from the front edge of the abdomen up to the hook eye and back again. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Even the tips and peel another, much larger clump of mallard flank fibers from the stem. I like to use the bigger, more webby feathers for the wing/collar on this fly, especially in larger sizes. Try to keep this bunch of fibers laying flat like a sheet for the time being. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Lay the sheet of mallard fibers over the top of the fly with the tips extending back to about the hook point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Reach in with your material hand and fold the clump around the hook by pinching the clump. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Hold the fibers folded around the hook and take a loose wrap of thread (as shown here) around the base of the fibers at the front edge of the abdomen. Do not draw this wrap tight until it has come all the way around the hook two times, then tighten the thread wrap TOWARD you to allow the fibers to splay around the shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
You may need to manipulate the fibers a bit to get an even distribution all the way around the shank. I try to get them spread evenly across at least the top and sides of the fly, if there is a bit of a gap on the bottom...no big deal. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Clip the butt ends of the mallard flank fibers as close to the hook as you can. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Begin dubbing the thorax by wrapping the dubbing from the back of the index point (one eye length back from the hook eye) up to the base of the wing. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Return the dubbing to the back of the index point forming a smoothly tapered thorax. Whip finish and clip the thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Top View charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
Bottom View...there is a little more gap than I'd really like, but...Like I said, no big thing:) charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Side View charlie's flybox
charlies flybox